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The conversation focused on the search for a solution to Colombia’s structural violence and policy actions to overcome the global climate change crisis.
On Wednesday, Colombia’s presidential pre-candidate and Senator Gustavo Petro held a 42-minute meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican as part of his tour around Europe to seek support for his political campaign.
"The conversation focused on the search for a solution to Colombia’s structural violence and the strategy that his country should assume to overcome the climate change crisis," Petro's press team reported.
The Colombian senator gifted the Pope vinyl discs, a typical Colombian handmade hammock, and three books about the history of his country: “Colombia: The Reasons for the War,” “Colombia: A Minimal History," and “Land Concentration in Colombia: A Rural Radiography.”
The Pope ended the meeting by wishing Petro strength in his campaign and granting the blessing to him and his wife, Veronica Alcocer, who joined the audience minutes after it ended.
This meeting is historic since Pope Francis had not previously met with any Colombian presidential candidate. Upon hearing of it, presidential pre-candidates Rodolfo Hernandez, Federico Gutierrez, and Oscar Zuluagalso requested to meet him.
“Pope Francis will meet with all the Colombian presidential candidates who have asked for it because he is highly interested in the future of our country," this Latin American country’s ambassador to the Vatican Jorge Eastman stated, recalling the Pope supported the 2016 Peace Agreement between the Colombian State and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
As Bogota Mayor, Petro met Pope Francis in the Vatican in July 2015 in the framework of a colloquium on “Modern Slavery and Climate Change,” in which participant authorities signed a joint declaration with his Holiness.